Is Honey Locust Firewood Any Good? Pros, Cons, Identification

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There are a few reasons why honey locust wood is one of the most popular firewood choices out there.

It burns hot and clean, it’s plentiful in some areas, and 

Before you go out and start chopping down trees, however, there are a few things you need to know.

In this post, we’re examing honey locust firewood – what it is, where to find it, and why it might make the perfect choice for your wood stove or campfire. 

But first, let’s take a closer look at this type of wood and find out exactly what it’s made of.

Characteristics of Honey Locust Wood

honey locust tree uses

Honey locust trees are fast-growing.

They’re native to North and South America, Africa, and Asia and get their name from the sweet-tasting pods that grow on the branches.

These pods were initially used by Native Americans as a sweetener and source of food and are still eaten by some animals today.

Honey locust wood is prized for its strength, shock resistance, and unique appearance. In addition, the wood is very dense, making it ideal for fence posts, tool handles, and fuel.

However, although trees are readily available, finding lumber or firewood on the market can be challenging.

Honey locust is highly resistant to rot and insect damage, so it holds up well in storage once correctly seasoned. 

The wood is a beautiful light reddish-brown color with a straight grain pattern. It can be stained or left natural – either way, it makes stunning furniture and decorative pieces.

Is Honey Locust A Hardwood Or Softwood?


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Honey locust is a hardwood, which is the best type of wood to use for firewood.

Hardwoods are denser than softwoods and burn hotter and longer. They also produce less smoke and sparks than their softer counterparts.

Regarding hardness, honey locust ranks relatively high on the Janka scale, with a score of 1,580 lbf. It’s not as hard as hickory, but it’s slightly harder than white oak and significantly denser than pine or ash

This is especially appealing for those who want a long-lasting fire without all the smoke.

Is Honey Locust Good Firewood?


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Honey locust makes for some of the best firewood around.

The wood burns hot and slow, with little to no smoke, and produces an optimal amount of coals. 

Because of the low smoke amounts, it’s also less likely to cause creosote build-up in your chimney.

Another great thing about honey locust is that it has a high BTU rating, which means that it releases a lot of heat when burned. Its BTU is among the highest of the standard firewood options.

Furthermore, the density of the wood means it burns slowly and steadily. This is perfect for getting you through those long winter nights or keeping a campfire going all night long.

Honey Locust BTUs

When it comes to BTUs (British Thermal Units), honey locust firewood is near the top of the list, with a rating of 26.7 million BTUs per cord.

For comparison, white oak, which is widely considered one of the best types of firewood, has 29.1 million BTUs.

This wood is perfect for burning during the winter when you want a considerable amount of heat, or for a bonfire party with lots of people.

I especially like using it for fire pits, since it doesn’t produce much smoke while keeping everyone warm and toasty! 

Benefits Of Burning Honey Locust

honey locust slabs
Honey Locust is a popular wood for milling slabs

There are several benefits to burning honey locust as firewood.

First, it burns hot and slow, so you can get a good fire going that will last a while. This is vital if you live in colder climates and need wood that will give you a lot of heat over a long period.

Another benefit is that it doesn’t produce much smoke. This not only reduces the risk of creosote build-up in your chimney, but it also means there’s less chance of irritating your lungs if you’re spending a lot of time near the fire.

Honey locust is also a good choice if you’re looking for wood that produces a lot of high-quality coals. This is perfect for cooking, as you can get a good bed of coals that will retain heat.

Drawbacks Of Burning Honey Locust

One potential drawback of using honey locust wood for fires is that it can be hard to find.

This is because the wood is not as popular as other options, such as oak or hickory. Because of this, a cord of firewood can be a bit on the expensive side.

In addition, honey locust firewood is known to produce sparks on occasion. While this may not be a deal-breaker for some people, it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning to use the wood in an open fireplace. However, this probably won’t be an issue if you’re using it outdoors or with a wood stove.

Finally, because honey locusts are hardwoods, they can be tough to split. If you don’t have a strong arm or a good ax, you may want to consider using a log splitter, or another, softer type of firewood.


is honey locust safe

There are a lot of potential questions regarding honey locust firewood, so we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions below.

What’s the difference between honey locust and black locust firewood?

The BTU rating is the main difference between honey and black locust firewood.

Honey locust has a BTU rating of 26.7 million, while black locust has a BTU rating of 28.3 million. 

In addition, black locust is denser than honey locust, making black locust harder to split.

How long should I season honey locust firewood?

Honey locust firewood typically takes between 12-18 months to thoroughly season.

This is on the longer end of the spectrum, so be sure to plan well ahead if you’re looking to use honey locust as your primary source of firewood.

Can I burn green honey locust firewood?

You can technically burn green honey locust firewood, but it’s not recommended. 

Like any other wood, it will produce a lot of smoke and be very difficult to ignite.

Is honey locust wood toxic?

No, honey locust wood is not toxic.

Black locust, a closely related species, is considered harmful, but honey locust is not.

That being said, the thorns on honey locust trees (pictured above) can be pretty sharp, and there are reports of scratches from the thorns leading to infections.

Can I use honey locust wood in a wood stove?

Yes, honey locust wood can be used in a good wood stove. It’s a prime choice for this purpose because it produces a lot of heat and little smoke. 

It also burns slowly, meaning you won’t need to add wood to the stove as often.

Honey Locust Firewood

Look no further than the honey locust tree for dependable firewood that burns hot, clean, and slow. 

This firewood is also known for producing quality coals and little smoke, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use. Although honey locust can be difficult to split, it’s worth the effort because of its high BTU rating and long burning time.

For more ideas, check out the pros and cons of cherry firewood, or find out why people like hackberry firewood.


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